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The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse was established by the Administration for Children and Families to perform systematic reviews of research and evaluation on programs and services intended to provide enhanced support to children and families and prevent foster care placements. The Prevention Services Clearinghouse, developed in accordance with the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) of 2018, as codified in Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, rates programs and services as promising, supported, and well-supported practices. These practices include mental health prevention and treatment services, substance abuse prevention and treatment services, and in-home parent skill-based programs, as well as kinship navigator programs.
The Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook of Standards and Procedures provides a detailed description of the standards used to identify and review programs and services for the Prevention Services Clearinghouse. It also provides a detailed description of the procedures followed by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse staff. The systematic review process includes the following six steps:
- Identify programs and services for review. Candidate programs and services relevant to the mission of the Prevention Services Clearinghouse are identified using an inclusive process that invites recommendations from stakeholders, including states, to ensure broad coverage across program or service areas.
- Select and prioritize programs and services for review. Candidate programs and services are assessed against the program or service eligibility criteria and prioritized for review.
- Literature search. Prevention Services Clearinghouse staff conduct comprehensive literature searches to locate available and relevant research on the prioritized programs and services.
- Study eligibility screening and prioritization. Studies identified in the literature searches are screened against the study eligibility criteria. Studies determined to be eligible for review are considered against prioritization criteria to determine the order and depth of their review.
- Evidence review. All eligible studies are reviewed by trained reviewers using the Prevention Services Clearinghouse standards for study design and execution. Study authors may be queried to request information deemed necessary to assign a rating. One of three ratings is assigned to prioritized studies: high, moderate, or low support of causal evidence.
- Program and service ratings. Studies that are rated as providing high or moderate support of causal evidence are considered in assigning each program or service one of four ratings: well-supported, supported, promising, or does not currently meet criteria. These ratings also take into consideration any evidence of risk of harm.
The ratings for programs and services are not included in the Handbook. These ratings will be posted on the Prevention Services Clearinghouse website along with additional details about the programs and services.
Wilson, S. J., Price, C. S., Kerns, S. E. U., Dastrup, S. D., & Brown, S. R. (2019). Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook of Standards and Procedures, version 1.0, OPRE Report # 2019-56, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT):
- A study in which units are assigned to intervention and control conditions via a random process (e.g., a lottery).
- Quasi-Experimental Design (QED):
- A study in which units are assigned to intervention and control conditions via a non-random process.
- One research investigation of a defined subject sample, and the interventions, measures, and statistical analyses applied to that sample. Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from separate studies.
- A comparison of a treated condition to a counterfactual untreated condition on an outcome. All Prevention Services Clearinghouse design and execution ratings are applied to contrasts.